Errm, right, OK. So Alexis Taylor’s had a bad dream and has made an album where he thinks he’s a Laurel Canyon confessional troubadour. On his second solo LP, he continues to move further away from the irresistible beat-driven pop of Hot Chip, instead trudging a deeply personal, slightly-but-not-really experimental road. A collection of piano-ballads with varying degrees of success, Await Barbarians is a bold move – sadly though, it’s one that hasn’t paid off. The majority of the tracks go round in circles, feeling like a verse repeated over and over and, although the production and arrangements are interesting, there is too much emphasis on fucking around with things for the sake of fucking around with them.
On one track, New Hours, it sounds like he’s blowing a milk bottle or some shit. Badly. Saying that though, the duo of songs entitled Without A Crutch are beautiful, perfectly constructed ballads, the lyrics a dark lament on a relationship, bolstered by a fragile melody and vocal performance. However, the fact that Without A Crutch essentially appears twice speaks volumes; the vast majority of the tracks go nowhere, especially the lead single Elvis Has Left The Building, where the perfectly adequate lyrics are let down again by a fruitless and frustrating wait for a chorus. This is a long, long way from the After The Gold Rush it wants to be.